^
Government to NPA: Turn over those behind landmine deaths
“Now that the CPP-NPA has accepted full responsibility for the senseless murder, it now becomes their duty to turn over the terrorists responsible for the deaths so that justice maybe served to their families and loved ones,” Año said, referring to the Communist Party of the Philippines.
STAR/Michael Varcas/File

Government to NPA: Turn over those behind landmine deaths

Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - June 10, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año is demanding that the New People’s Army (NPA) turn over the perpetrators responsible for the death of Far Eastern University (FEU) football player Keith Absalon and cousin Nolven Absalon, who were killed by a landmine explosion while biking in Anas, Masbate last Sunday.

“Now that the CPP-NPA has accepted full responsibility for the senseless murder, it now becomes their duty to turn over the terrorists responsible for the deaths so that justice maybe served to their families and loved ones,” Año said, referring to the Communist Party of the Philippines.

“They can turn over the suspects to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) or to their allies in the Makabayan bloc who are serving in Congress if they prefer so long as they face trial in a court of law,” he added.

“The family of the victims asks for justice and not just a public apology. If the CPP-NPA is really serious about their regrets, they should surrender to us those who planned and executed this attack,” Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in Filipino.

Department of National Defense spokesman Arsenio Andolong condemned the NPA for using anti-personnel mines, saying this is a violation of international humanitarian law and shows disregard for the safety of civilians.

“Those responsible for the landmine explosion may be held liable for murder, violation of the Anti-Terrorism Law, and violation of the Philippine Act (2009) on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, genocide, and other crimes against humanity,” Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

Dead on its tracks

President Duterte has described as “dead on its track” the peace negotiations with communists, saying the rebels were “arrogant” and were asking for too much.

“It’s dead on its track... It is in still waters. I don’t want to talk anymore. They are arrogant. I told the military, ‘Review this, give me a recommendation.’ They reviewed it and I reviewed it again. They are right, the participation of the governance is just too much. Too much has been asked. It’s like on the economic policies of the country, they would be a part of it like a coalition government,” the President said.

Duterte announced the “permanent termination” of the peace talks in 2019, saying he rejected a set-up that would have given communists too much participation in governance.

DILG Undersecretary and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict spokesman Jonathan Malaya rejected the call of Kabataan party-list Rep. Sara Elago to resume the peace talks.

“By attempting to use the death of Absalon in the hands of the NPA as justification for the resumption of peace talks only proves that Elago and her kind are not interested in exacting accountability from the NPA terrorists who murdered a promising young individual,” Malaya said.

The CPP-NPA took “full responsibility” for the blast and issued “profoundest apologies” for the Absalons’ death, which the rebels attributed to “errors in the military action” mounted by one of its units in Barangay Anas. The rebels also offered “any appropriate form of indemnification.”

Condolences, condemnation

Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday extended her condolences to the Absalon family and slammed the use of landmines.

“We extend our condolences to the families of Kieth and Nolven. We join in prayer, seeking justice, and the desire to stop such senseless killings,” Robredo said in Filipino.

“Condolences to the family of Keith at Nolven Absalon. Heartbreaking to see the lives of young Filipinos cut short because of senseless violence,” Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) chairman Jose Manuel ‘Chel’ Diokno tweeted last Tuesday.

In Congress, the Makabayan bloc (six party-list representatives from Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Kabataan and ACT Teachers) condemned the actions of the NPA unit, stating that such “military action” violates international humanitarian law.

“Our commitment to human rights binds us to condemn any and all acts that harm or kill unarmed civilians, non-combatants, and protected persons in situations of armed conflict,” the group said.

“These civilian deaths are condemnable. We extend our sincerest condolences to the families of the two victims,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said. – Emmanuel Tupas, Alexis Romero, Helen Flores, Evelyn Macairan, Edu Punay, Rhodina Villanueva, Michael Punongbayan

NEW PEOPLE’S ARMY
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with